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Food Safety


Environmental Health regulates food safety for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (Champaign-Urbana), and for the Champaign County Public Health Department (Champaign County, outside of C-U).

Following the guidelines of the Illinois Food Service (or Retail Food Store) Sanitation Rules and Regulations (C-U or County), the food-related duties of the Environmental Health Division include conducting inspections at all food service establishments, investigating complaints, providing educational training to food service workers, and issuing health permits. We also review and approve establishment plans for newly constructed or remodeled food services. If necessary, we initiate legal proceedings for non-compliance of applicable rules and regulations.

Food Service Inspections

What do our inspectors look for during a food service inspection? How is an inspection conducted? The Seattle-King County Health Department has created a mock food service inspection on their website. To follow the steps of a mock inspection, click here. Our inspectors follow similar guidelines during food service inspections in Champaign-Urbana and Champaign County. View a sample inspection form.

"Contributing Factors" have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention as the leading causes of foodborne illness in the United States. Our inspectors focus on contributing factors during their unannounced, routine operational inspections and cite violations of contributing factors per our code book. Ideally, each food service establishment will reduce its number of contributing factors to ZERO. Contributing factors include:

  • Foods from unsafe sources (such as: home-prepared foods, foods from unlicensed processors),
  • Inadequate cooking (for example: undercooked beef, poultry, eggs),
  • Improper holding temperatures (such as: food not kept hot enough in buffet lines or inadequate refrigeration) and improper cooling,
  • Contaminated equipment (for example: cutting boards, sinks and work areas used for raw animal foods and not cleaned before cutting other foods),
  • Poor personal hygiene (such as: employees not washing or improperly washing their hands or touching their face while in the kitchen).

Plan Review - New / Remodeled / Change of Ownership

New or remodeled kitchens or other food preparation facilities, and those changing ownership, must undergo a plan review process prior to a health permit being issued. Please note that permits are not transferable from one owner to another. The purpose of a plan review is to verify that your facility's structure and equipment and their capacities are in compliance with sanitation codes. These codes were designed toward preventing foodborne illness and the meeting of consumer expectations for a safe and sanitary food service. Plans must be approved by this department before construction or remodeling can begin. Plans are reviewed in the order they are received. Please allow approximately 30 business days for your project to reach the top of the waiting list for review.

A plan review application (C-U form or County form) must be submitted. Along with the application, you will need to submit a plan review fee, one set of architectural plans that includes an enlarged kitchen layout, equipment brochures, and a copy of your menu. Other plan review documents include a plan review construction guide (C-U or County), a plan review fee schedule (C-U or County) and general information (C-U or County). Please read the plan review construction guide carefully. It contains detailed information regarding food establishment design requirements.

Also, please note that you should contact the city, county and/or village government where your business will be located. They may have building/code inspections or other requirements that have to be met.

Health Permits

Anytime food is offered to the public, regardless of whether or not there is a charge for the food, a health permit is required. There are two types of food service health permits: annual and temporary. In conjunction with a health permit, we also issue facility food handler's licenses (when applicable) on behalf of the cities of Champaign and Urbana. To view our health permit fees, see our fee schedule (C-U or County). You can see a sample permit by clicking here.

Restaurants / Food Services - Annual Permits

All restaurants, retail food stores and other types of food services who will be operating on a year-round basis must obtain a health permit. View our annual permit application (C-U form or County form).

Temporary Permits

Whenever food or drink is offered to the public during special events such as fairs, outdoor concerts, fundraisers or other short-term events, a temporary health permit is required. See our Temporary Food Vendor training and review the guidelines that accompany the application C-U form or County form. Complete the application and submit it for review, along with the applicable fee(s). The temporary permit application and fee(s) should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the temporary event. For events with five or more food or drink vendors, please see our multi-vendor coordinator guidelines.

Mobile Food Services

If you would like to operate a mobile food service, please review our FAQs. Depending on the type of foods you'll be serving, one of the requirements you may need to meet is to provide permanent hand washing facilities for your mobile unit. A commissary may be required. If you need a commissary agreement form, please click here. A toilet facilities agreement may also be required. You will also need to apply for an annual permit C-U form or County form.

Educational Material (Posters/Brochures, etc.)

Information is available here.

Food sanitation codes and information